Do You Believe? Americans Less Likely to Believe in Historical Accuracy of Christmas Story Than a Decade Ago

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My latest column for Huffington Post Religion explores the findings of PRRI’s latest survey, conducted in partnership with Religion News Service and released just this morning, on the drop in the number of Americans who believe the Bible’s Christmas story is historically accurate.

  • Doc Anthony

    So let’s review all those percentage points:

    Belief in the historical accuracy of the Christmas story = down by about 20.

    Belief that the Bible is the word of God = down by about 20.

    Approval of homosexual marriage = up by about 26.

    Chances that America will continue to escape the fate of Sodom if it remains on its current trajectory = down by about 100 !

  • Duane Lamers

    It remains an honest question regarding the historical accuracy of the Christmas story. It is sufficient for Christian belief that the Son of God (the second person of the Trinity in many sects’ doctrine) came to Earth as a human and that he and his message would be received widely. The story of the birth is a concretizing of this belief, and the story of the Magi is an illustration of this revelation to the wider world.

    The Evangelists were not present at the Birth. How did they learn of this–John doesn’t even record it? Are we to assume that Christ Himself gave the writers these details? There’s nothing in the Gospel narratives to suggest that the writers would have even been concerned about such minutiae.

    Problems arise if we insist on a literal reading of everything in the Bible. The opening chapter of Genesis is a prime example. Here the writer speaks of light and darkness on the first day, but not until the fourth day do we find the creation of the sun, moon and stars. That’s a problem.

    Some of us address these “problems” by considering the stories to be illustrations of more fundamental truths, in the above example that there is a divine source of creation. Do we as believers really need any more?